For observers looking for signs of economic direction the data continues to fly in the face of consumer sentiment and media tone. The Commerce Dept. announced October’s retail sales volume and the data shows an increase of over 7% compared to October 2010. That’s a steeper growth path than the 2005-2007 trend and the overall spending is 3.5% higher than the volume at the peak of the last business cycle in Nov. 2007. A 7% increase in the segment that makes up 70% of the U. S. economy is significant anytime but especially if it’s during a period of time when consumer sentiment is falling (like this summer).
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